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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
The first book I read by Robin Mckinley was Beauty. I began an ongoing search for her other works. The Door in the Hedge is her best short story collection yet and each of the four tales is better than the one before. I have re-read the book many times and still enjoy the writing(my test of a good book). The first story in this collection is an original tale with a...
Published on March 23 2004 by qpelican

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the "Door"
Despite her award-winning original fantasies, Robin McKinley will always be known as the lady who redid the classic fairy tales like "Beauty," "Spindle's End" and others. "Door in the Hedge," recently reprinted by Firebird Books, matches two retold fairy tales with two original stories, with mixed results.
"The Stolen Princess"...
Published on April 5 2004 by E. A Solinas


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the "Door", April 5 2004
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Door in the Hedge (Paperback)
Despite her award-winning original fantasies, Robin McKinley will always be known as the lady who redid the classic fairy tales like "Beauty," "Spindle's End" and others. "Door in the Hedge," recently reprinted by Firebird Books, matches two retold fairy tales with two original stories, with mixed results.
"The Stolen Princess" is a the rather rambly tale of a royal family's difficulties; the queen's aunt was stolen to Faerieland as a girl, and when she marries and has a daughter of her own, the young daughter is also kidnapped. Things get more complicated when old mysteries are solved. "The Hunting of the Hind" tells of a deer-woman so beautiful that she drives men mad, and the princess who is trying to free her. And McKinley presents two old fairy tales given a new spin: "The Princess and the Frog," a story of brotherly treachery, and "Twelve Dancing Princesses," given a darker tinge.
Robin McKinley's writing is better suited to novels than short stories. In "The Door in the Hedge," she does a pretty good job. Not a great job, not even a good job -- just a pretty good one. When it comes to style, her writing is nearly impeccable, but it's in the actual stories told that she stumbles over her own quill pen.
"Stolen Princess" takes forever to move past McKinley's lectures about customs and problems in the kingdom, but moves steadily and well once it gets to Princess Lindanel's kidnapping. This one could easily have been expanded into a full-length book. "Hunting of the Hind" is even better, tight and strong. But the two fairy-tale retellings are stilted and too short.
McKinley's writing is detailed and has some moments that are pure poetry, such as Lindanel's first meeting with the prince of Faerieland, or Princess Korah finding the Hind. The biggest difficulty is the characterizations -- the three last stories are too short for her to develop the characters enough for readers to really like 'em.
Flawed but pretty, "The Door in the Hedge" is a nice read for fans of retold fairy tales. Just don't expect anything like McKinley's usual level of storytelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, March 23 2004
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This review is from: Door in the Hedge (Paperback)
The first book I read by Robin Mckinley was Beauty. I began an ongoing search for her other works. The Door in the Hedge is her best short story collection yet and each of the four tales is better than the one before. I have re-read the book many times and still enjoy the writing(my test of a good book). The first story in this collection is an original tale with a poignant, quiet look at the bonds of sisters, parents, lovers and the responsibilities of leadership. The second is the best retelling of the princess and the frog I have ever read. McKinley replaces the spoiled princess tossing a plaything in a well and crying because she cannot fetch it back with a frightened young woman startled into dropping a far more sinister object in a secret pool. And it is not so much the frog who needs to be freed of his curse but the princess and her family. (I read this one to my eight and ten year old brothers last night and their response when asked what they though of the story was "Awesome!")The third is an original story of a princess' love for her older brother that takes her from her home, where no one but the prince even notices her, to the hiding place of a magical hind and the chambers of a malicious sorcerer. The final story is an exquisite retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. Without giving the name of a single character she unveils the lot of an old foot soldier. His clear, bittersweet understanding of the world around him entranced me and I longed to keep seeing through his eyes. The ending was a little different, as with the first story I almost felt as if the characters were diminished by the resolution of the conflict. Anyways,I most heartily recommend this book :-}
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of McKinley, Jan. 27 2004
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Book Collector (Owings Mills, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This book was my first introduction to McKinley's writings. And as far as I'm concerned the best of McKinley's writings. The title story is outstanding in the beauty of the language and beauty of the story told. Truly a magical book.
It's been on my bookshelf since it was first printed (and been given as a gift to discerning readers more than once). With bookshelf space at a premium, few books that come into my house stay long unless they are worth reading more than once. Definitely a keeper.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ooops!!, Dec 27 2005
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This review is from: Door in the Hedge (Paperback)
I don't have a review so much as a complaint. The book I purchased had many pages missing. Part One of "The Stolen Princess" was repeated in the book and the rest of the story was omitted. When I went to read Part Two, it belonged to "The Princess and the Frog". I am missing 50 pages out of this book. I would like to advise you to check all pages of your book before purchasing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, April 15 2004
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This review is from: Door in the Hedge (Paperback)
Another young adult book by an author good at fairy tales, but this one is a collection of four fairy tales instead of a stand alone story. The book blurb says that two of the fairy tales are retellings and two are "new", but I found all of them to feel like retellings of stories I'd already heard. I didn't care for the book, but the kidlet loved it. He just likes McKinley, I think.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing, April 24 2004
This review is from: Door in the Hedge (Paperback)
The Door in the Hedge is a collection of four stories by Robin McKinley. I would summarize them all, but that has been done already by many others and I'm not very good at it. So anyway, here are my thoughts on the book.
For starters, Robin McKinley is an amazing writer, definately one of the best out there today. The stories are all interesting as well.
My only problem with this book, is that each of the four stories centers around a female, and in every story, the female character seems to be the same (a beautiful princess). But other than that, the book was wonderful. I definately want to read more books by this author!
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Door in the Hedge
Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley (Paperback - Oct. 14 2003)
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